How would you feel if you could go outside to your own raised garden bed and pick what you want to eat for dinner? To have the freedom of knowing where your food came from and how it was cared for?Being able to feed your family fresh food, from earth, that was not tainted by chemicals, toxins or multiple passings of hands?
Simple idea: Make your own garden bed!
If reading this makes you feel at all inspired, eager for change or just simply brought awareness to a new possibility, then I encourage you to try your hand at building your own raised garden bed. You don’t have to be a master gardener and it doesn’t cost a lot of money to get started. With a few supplies and a few packs of seeds, the possibilities can be endless.
So let's build a salad bar together!
Lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, peppers, carrots and fresh herbs. Don’t like salads I hear some of you say? How about Taco Bar, Stir Fry Station, Spring Roll Alley or Grill-Out Garden? There are so many possibilities for everyone with a variety of favorite foods. A raised garden bed gets you these in your back yard.
It is VERY important to use UNTREATED wood to avoid chemicals getting into your veggies. I recommend at least an 8″ high structure so your plants can have enough soil. You can make a 4’x4’x8″ tall bed, or a 4’x4’x12″ tall bed.
(For a 4’x4’x8″ tall bed) you need 5- 8′ boards. 4 boards will be the structure, the extra board is for support on the corners and midway points.
(For a 4’x4’x12″ tall bed) you need 8- 8′ boards, 6 boards will be structure and the extra board is for support on the corners and midway points.
- Lumber: for an 8″ tall bed, buy 5- 2″x4″x8′ boards (or 5- 1″x4″x8′ boards). For a 12″ tall bed, buy 8- 2″x4″x8″ boards (or 8- 1″x4″x8′ boards).
- 2.5-3″ screws to attach your boards to each other.
- For a 4×4’x12″ bed, you’ll need 1 cubic yard of top soil, 1 bag of peat moss and 2-3 bags of compost. Less for an 8″ bed.
- Seeds for your favorite vegetables
- Two people to carry the box to its final location
Build the Box:
- Cut one 8′ board in half to 4′ each. Stack the two boards on top of each other lengthwise, creating a side of the box that is 8″ tall. Screw boards together using small pieces cut for support at the midway point. Add the third board if you are making a 12″ tall box.
- Secure your corners using 2.5-3″ screws and form a square box. Add supports in the corners if you would like.
Place Your Garden & Plant Your Seeds:
We recommend placing your garden where it can get a minimum of 4-6 hours of direct sun for optimum growth. Fill your new box with screened top soil, peat moss and compost.
Install all materials and mix as you go. Directly sow the seeds of your favorite vegetables into the soil, or purchase organic starter plants at your local farmers market.
Water Your Garden:
Water your garden as needed. If you stick your finger into the soil and it feels dry, then water. If the soil feels moist, skip a day of watering.
The best time to water your garden is in the morning. As you love and take care of your garden, the produce will grow.
Words of Encouragement:
I hope this helps you get started with your own garden of fresh, healthy food. Get creative, have fun and keep growing!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi! I am Brooke Freeman from Natural Freedom Farm. I am a wife, mother of two and I am passionate about learning and teaching people how to live their healthiest life.
I graduated from IIN as a Integrative Nutritional Health Coach, and I am currently going through a program to specialize in Hormone Health. My passion is teaching children and adolescents about health & wellness, and I want to be a part of breaking the cycle of childhood obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases due to the broken food industry, causing poor nutrition in our society.
My husband Mike and I have started a Non-Profit organization called Natural Freedom Farm where we teach children and teens how to take control of their health through education, gardening and being in nature.
Alongside education and hands on learning, we allow those we are mentoring access to organic produce that is grown on our land. We believe that planting the seeds of health and wellness into our children can change this generation and future generations to come.